I've been in the worst head-space over the past few days. I'm finally home again, free of the chemical fence that's been keeping me away. But that sense of relief at being able to be in my own place has given way to some of the loneliness that I experienced after my previous surgery, in the few days' recovery period that went along with it. I have felt like my progress has been zero at the very best, or more negative. I've felt like I'll never look normal or feel normal again. A pretty profound sense of regret. Yes, regret.
For something that has been lurking on my personal horizon since basically the very beginning, I've found that part especially disheartening. I've spent my entire savings, plus some. I've gone to another city, and dragged someone else along with me for almost two weeks. I put them through that experience, which, at times, I imagine might have been a little terrifying. And I have been in pain, both physical and emotional, ever since. And I have been regretting doing it. I could have saved myself and others an immense amount of time, money, and trouble if I hadn't gone and done this reckless, crazy thing.
The pain and recovery period so far has been categorically awful. It's entirely possible, even probable, that I went into this surgery with unrealistic expectations. I was seeing the magical end product, at the other end of a long, dark tunnel, and not even realizing that there was a long, dark tunnel to begin with. The zero-or-negative progress part. The shocking-loss-of-strength-and-coordination part. The "you want me to do what to these wounds on my face?!" part. Long and dark.
Tonight, as is my custom for most Wednesdays, I went to C & E's for dinner. I knew that the mere presence of people would at least help, so even though I was absolutely not interested in expending the energy to shower and put on clothes and get out and drive the car, that I had to do it. It was that, or sink into the madness that was beginning to clutch at me.
I've often believed that the absolute worst way to view something that was changing, was from the middle of it. One too often gets focused on the micro-changes that are happening all the time, and usually can not see the broader changes, over time. And that's another part of the zero-or-negative progress thing, too. Macro-changes do happen, but we often can't notice them, because perhaps we're not looking, or we're looking in the wrong place. We're used to one view, and can't figure out how to switch to another. Or we can't realize that we need to switch to another view.
E was the first to remark on the most obvious changes she saw in me. Come to think about it, she was the only to comment. The young children don't consider such things, and C... our relationship lives in a bit different place than that. E's pretty concrete about things, very practical. C seems to live inside his head a lot more. But E's comment, if it didn't pop that bubble of zero-or-negative, at least put a big hole in the side of it. And it wasn't even immediate; it took some time for it to sink in, and then it took a quick look in the mirror as I was doing my second massage of the day after we finished eating.
Wonder of wonders, there was a human looking back at me, for once. Not a collection of "oh that spot hurts" and "can I get some feeling there sometime soon?" and "that looks terrible" and especially "is that doctor serious?!" She's still a little rough around the edges, that human peering out of the mirror, but there's somebody there. Or there's possibility there, at least. My view has been shifted enough to allow for the possible, instead of merely the present.
I'm sure that I'm not out of the woods of self-doubt yet, but perhaps I can see a glimmer of daylight from the edge.
Tabletop Season 4: Star Realms
8 hours ago